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what can I tell you about time?

In my beginning is my end
after East Coker by T.S. Eliot

time is a waterfall
soused
gurgling

it presses you forward
and tumbles you
off the earth

you are spread
against the cliff
arms out-stretched

tufts of life
clutched
in each hand —

you catch your breath
before the fulmar
plummets,

even the sea waits.

© Anne Marie Butler 2014

This poem by Anne Marie Butler was prompted by a PENfro Poets workshop in 2014 which took as its inspiration two passage from the second of Eliot’s Four Quartets, East Coker: ‘In my beginning is my end’ and ‘on the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold’.

Annie works as a landscape artist and full-time writer. Her written work has appeared in various web journals and anthologies including The Lampeter Review and Forward Poetry. In 2017 she won the R. S. Thomas Poetry Prize. Her debut collection Lighthouse is due to be published by Three Throated Press. She was invited to join the PENfro Poets in 2013.